(August 8, 2011)
It may have slipped your notice that this is National Health Center Week. A combination press conference and town hall meeting in Santa Rosa Monday morning seized the occasion to detail some of the changes being felt in Sonoma County as a result of the 2010 federal Health Care Reform legislation.
Dr. Mary Maddux-Gonzales, CEO of the Redwood Community Health Coalition, sees local health centers as a key element in the remaking of America's health care system, but she's concerned that the promised funding to facilitate that transition may be rescinded due to political considerations that have little to do with medical concerns.
It's been a little more than a year since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act became law, and Herb Schultz, the regional director of the US Department of Health and Human Services, says its benefits are already becoming clear.
Schultz adds that the "medical home" approach embodied at community health centers is an important part of the transition away from large institutional hospitals, which are more expensive to operate, toward a more personalized, preventative and affordable alternative.